COVID-19 (Corona virus) – Press Release Cuba Incentives – UPDATED

Press release Cuba Incentives regarding the diagnisis of COVID-19 (Corona) in Cuba. Last update March 18, 2020

March 12, 2020           Rijswijk, the Netherlands

COVID-19 (Corona) has been diagnosed in Cuba last night.

Cuba has taken precautions and has been preparing for the confrontation with the COVID-19 (Corona) virus as soon as it became clear that it would be a global problem.
As a result of the implementation of the National Plan for Prevention and Control of the COVID-19 (Corona) disease, and the intensive surveillance of respiratory syndromes, suspicious cases have been identified and checked.

On the 10th of March 2020, four (4) Italian tourists with respiratory symptoms were identified in the city of Trinidad, Sancti Spiritus. They were staying in a hostal (casa particular). The four tourists were immidiately admitted to the Pedro Kouri Tropical Medicine Institute (IPK). 
On the 11th of March 2020, the IPK National Reference Laboratory reported that three (3) of the four tourists, that have been in isolation since the 10th after admittance, were tested positive for the COVID-19 (Corona) virus. The tourists remain at the IPK, untill they are declared better.

The tourists arrived on the 9th of March, in Havana, at the international airport Jose Marti, and tranferred to Trinidad the same day. Concluding that they did not visit different cities, and possibilities of contaminations by these three people is very slim.

Contacts of the Italian tourists.

Epidemiological surveillance and control actions are carried out on people that are identified as contacts, there have been seven (7) people identified as such, under whom the taxi driver that drove them from Havana to Trinidad, the tour operator staff and five (5) other people that stayed in the same hostal (casa particular). All of them fortunately remain asymptomatic, they will however remain in isolation in the Doctor Faustino Perez Provincial Rehabilitation Hospital which is a desginated center in the province of Sancti Spiritus for the isolation of suspected cases. If they show signs at a later stage, they will be moved to the Villa Clara Military Hospital, as established in the National Plan for Prevention and Control of the COVID-19 (Corona). If they do not show symptoms in the coming days, they can go back home, only to be kept under extreme surveillance by epidemologists and the basic health area team.

What now ?

As you can see, the Cuban government takes the matter very seriously, and came with a National Plan long before the virus was diagnosed in Cuba, which is the reason why they can and have acted fast and adequate.
For now there is no reason to panic, and Cuba is still safe to travel to. 
We will closely follow the news regarding the Corona Virus and will inform you if we have new information.

— Update —

March 13, 2020             Rijswijk, the Netherlands

A new case of COVID-19 (Corona) has been diagnosed in Cuba.  This time it is a Cuban local, of whose wife is from the region of Lombardy. His wife had entered the country on the 24th of February, and had no symptoms of any kind.  The 29th she had some mild complaints, but those went away quickly.

The 8th of this month her husband started to have respiratory complaints, they both went to the health system where they were immediately admitted to the Villa Clara isolation hospital and were transfered yesterday to the IPK.

Here they were tested, and while he was tested positive for COVID-19 (Corona), his wife was tested negative.

— Update —

March 18, 2020           Rijswijk, the Netherlands

The first death in Cuba due to COVID-19 (Corona) is unfortunately a fact. One of the Italian tourists has passed away due to COVID-19 (Corona).

There are also 3 new cases diagnosed with COVID-19 (Corona).

The first case is a Cuban local of 25 years old, that came back from Spain on the 8th of March. He did not have any symptoms until the 14th. He went to the doctor the 15th, and got admitted to Hospital Manuel Fajardo in Santa Clara where he remains in isolation.

The second case is a Cuban local of 67 years old, that came back from New Jersey, USA on the 11th of March. The 16th he went to the doctor and was diagnosed with COVID-19 (Corona). This person also is admitted and isolated in the Hospital Manuel Fajardo in Santa Clara.

The third case is a US citizen of 77 years old that arrived in Cuba on the 8th of March with a tourist group. The 14th this person started to show symptoms and the guide and driver noticed this. In the middle of the night on the 15th this person was brought to Centro de Aislamiento in Santa Clara, and was put in isolation.

Sources :

Nota informativa sobre el nuevo coronavirus en Cuba (MINSAP) (Spanish)
Nota Informativa del Ministerio de Salud Pública: Tres turistas en Cuba resultaron positivos al nuevo coronavirus
Asintomáticos y en condiciones de aislamiento contactos de italianos confirmados con Covid-19 en Cuba
Confirman nuevo caso de contagio del coronavirus causante de Covid-19
Falleció paciente italiano diagnosticado con Covid-19 y Minsap notifica tres nuevos casos en Cuba

Useful links :

World Health Organization
World Health Organization – Situation Report 12 March 2020
Infomed (Spanish)

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